Did your lung cancer genetic testing include all known targets?
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with lung cancer, you probably already know the important role that genetic testing of tumor cells can play in choosing the most effective treatment possible.
It can make a difference in your treatment
Genetic testing of the tumor cells can reveal the type of genetic mutation of those cells and give a lung cancer care team the information needed to choose a treatment that targets that particular type of cell. This can lead to a better outcome for the patient.
But did you know that only some hospitals offer genetic testing for the complete set of known genetic targets?
Most hospitals can’t offer every lung cancer treatment available. Many of those hospitals only do genetic testing of tumors to find the types of genetic mutations that they know they can treat.
Get tested for the complete set of seven targets
The most complete set of genetic testing for lung cancer includes seven targets. If the genetic testing of your tumor cells didn’t test for all seven of those targets, your treatment might not be as effective as it could be.
One example of a target that sometimes isn’t included in genetic testing is KRAS G2C. The KRAS G2C molecular target is found in about 15% of all patients with non-small cell lung cancer, which is the most common type of lung cancer.
Because there is no standard treatment for KRAS G2C tumor cells, many oncologists don’t test for it. They don’t have a treatment that targets those cells.
Where to get tested, and treated, for KRAS G2C lung cancer
University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center includes KRAS G2C in its complete genetic testing profile of lung tumor cells. That’s because Holden oncologists have access to the newest therapies that target that type of tumor cell.
Right now, Holden has two clinical trials of promising new treatments for people whose non-small cell lung cancer is caused by tumor cells with the KRAS G2C molecular target.
Holden has more clinical trials of new cancer treatments than any other center in Iowa and is the only center in the state that offers phase 1 clinical trials. Phase 1 trials are sometimes the only choice left for people whose cancer has not responded to other available treatments.
Get a second opinion on your lung cancer treatment plan
Ask your oncologist if the genetic testing of your lung cancer tumor cells included a complete profile. If it didn’t, seek out a lung cancer specialist who can give you a complete profile and a second opinion to make sure you’re getting the best possible targeted treatment for your type of lung cancer.